The International Steam Pages


The Mitcheldean Garden 2020

This is the 2020 index of the pages describing our very dull life in the UK since arriving in 2011. Having negotiated the maze of regulations designed to frustrate those wanting to bring a non-EU spouse into the UK, Yuehong has been the proud owner of a UK passport since late 2014 which means we can have a near perfect balance of the best 8 months of the year in the UK and the best 4 months of the year in Penang. Well that was both theory and practice until the Chinese gifted the Big C to the world and who knows how long we shall wait to be able to return to Penang? We now hire a car in Penang, while in the UK public transport and weekend car hires having just sufficed for 7 years, we have now put our own 4 wheels on the driveway which allows us more flexibility to explore our surrounding countryside and better enjoy our visits to steam fairs, only in 2020 there won't be any...

Click here for the main 'Life in the UK' index page.


For most people in the UK the prospect of taking on a property built up 33 steps on a 30 degree slope would be a nightmare. For us, it's proved both a challenge and a delight. This is our tenth summer (2020) and already it is guaranteed to be completely different from those that went before. I would like to think that the garden achieved a degree of maturity in 2017, acknowledged by our being invited to be part of the Open Gardens weekend in June. 2018 saw me celebrating a big birthday and while 2019 saw the addition of the wall, my own physical efforts were all about 'maintenance' which I think we have now organised as being appropriate to our mature ages.

The Shortest Spring on Record
April 2020
Hurtling into Summer
May 2020

Our garden history 2011-19

Tua Pek Kong Rules

Summer 2019

Welcome Tua Pek Kong.

Summer 2018

Oh, to be in England

Summer 2017

Our Cup Runneth Over

Summer 2016

The Best Garden in Mitcheldean?

Summer 2015

The Best Garden in Mitcheldean?

Summer 2014

How does Your Garden Grow?

Summer 2013

Holding back the deluge

Summer 2012

Getting started:

Summer 2011


Rob and Yuehong Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk